The Cool Bride's Guide To Finding Fun & Modern Bridesmaid Dresses

When it comes to the bridal party not every bride wants to take the traditional route. 

Planning a wedding can often become a big stressful ordeal and being a bridesmaid can come with its own particular set of headaches. Why not bring focus on fun while sharing your special day with your best friends? 

There are plenty of fun alternatives to the standard bridal party. The idea of your maid-of-honor and bridesmaids in custom dresses seems dreamy but when you get down to the details of planning it, it's often a nightmare. And, all your friends have their own distinct personality and style. How do you have your wedding perfect and make everyone happy when picking out the bridesmaid outfits?

You can ditch the titles

It can be really hard to pick who your maid of honor should be. To avoid hard feelings and a difficult decision, just give everyone in your close friend group fun and important names and roles. Maybe your friend Jen is a really good speaker. She can be the designated speech giver. And your pal Rachel teaches dance. She can be responsible for getting everyone out on the dance floor. Be creative with it.

Have them get dresses they’ll wear again

Instead of shelling out big money for a dress they will most like hate and likely never wear again consider an alternative.

Let your bridesmaid pick their own dress and style. Show them the inspiration for your wedding. One fun idea for a summer wedding is to have your bridesmaids wear floral print. It makes a statement that they are part of your wedding but it gives them the opportunity to pick out their own style of dress, one that they can wear again during other summer occasions.

Another option is to have all your bridesmaids wear a certain color. But the dress style and fit is up to them. Share the colors you want to be the accents at the wedding for example metallics or blush and nude.


They don’t even need to wear dresses

Cute, matching tops, paired with maxi or tulle skirts can be fun.

Don't worry about it looking too different. Your brides are your friends and they ARE excited and happy for you- they will choose something they personally like but most important something that would make you happy as well. 



Gift your bridesmaids matching jewelry. A simple initial pendant or bracelet can be the perfect way to say thank you for being your bridesmaid. It will always fit and it's a nice way to have something special to remember your wedding day.

If you don’t want to cramp your bridesmaids individual styles, tell them to wear whatever they want. You can opt for unique accessories for them such as flower crowns or hairpieces instead.


Your closest friends can all carry umbrellas, fans, or lanterns to indicate that they are part of your close knit circle.

Real Wedding: Iva & Dennis

It's always amazing to make a dress for a friend – so I would especially like to share this story. It’s the perfect example of what's possible when you choose to do a custom piece for your wedding.

My close friend Iva came to me in need of help, and when we met she was so lost and uninspired that she was almost sad. She had spent endless hours looking through wedding gown pictures online and she really had no idea what she wanted because she hadn't seen anything that fit her style or was in her budget. I immediately suggested we go look around in the Garment District and see what was available for inspiration. I have always found that a trip like this works very well for brides who are confused.

A few weeks later we visited a few of my favorite bridal fabric stores in New York City. We found a ton of things that interested us, and one lace example that was super exciting. It was thick crochet bridal lace fabric that had a little sheen but was not overwhelmingly heavy or extravagant. It became the inspiration for the dress. I could see Iva's face light up – it was perfect!

Since Iva had gone to fashion school she told me she would like to take the swatch home and think of a design herself and do some sketches. However, she was very skeptical about her drawing ability, but I told her not to worry. She could send me whatever she drew and I would work with her to establish the final design and fit.

Each woman always inspires me, and I love the fact that I can offer exactly what she wants even if she doesn't know how to go about it herself. I always tell my brides to give me all their ideas, even if they are not directly related to the dress design, and then we can come up with a way to incorporate them into the garment. It gives the bride the chance to be a part of designing process, which is always so special.

A few days later when I got Iva's sketches I was blown away! I would like to share them with you, as they are as professional as they come in the industry…

We decided on a two-piece design that included a short jumpsuit with sheer side panels and a chiffon skirt with slits to go over it. The skirt would be worn over the jumpsuit for the ceremony and then removed for the reception. It was a wonderful and modern take on the traditional wedding dress – perfect for Iva to dance the night away and enjoy the party. It was so different than my previous work and It turned out to be one of my favorite wedding pieces that I have worked on…



NK Bride at the "BIG FAKE WEDDING"

Last October I attended an amazing event in New York City called "The Big Fake Wedding." It wasn’t your typical wedding expo where couples walk around and visit vendors at their booths. Instead, the attendees are “guests” at a wedding put together by the vendors so that the engaged couples can experience each company as if they’re really a part of the wedding. For example, "The Big Fake Wedding" usually takes place in a real venue that is available for couples to book. Each of the tables are decorated by a different company specializing in floral or table designs, and there is a caterer, a drinks sponsor, a DJ, and all the other vendors in between. There is also a ceremony, in which a real couple (already married) renews their vows in front of the attendees, inspiring them as to what to hope for after years of marriage. It was a very moving and fun event!

I am so happy to announce that I was invited to participate in the next one this April, where I will get to dress the bride!!! I am so looking forward to it and I want to share the “save the date” with you!


267 5TH AVE
NEW YORK, NY 10016

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017 | 7:00 pm

Doors open at 6:30



NK Bride at "Say I Do" LGBT Wedding Expo

I named the first collection I presented in New York, "The password is Love." It is my way to look at life. I believe you have to love who you are, love what you do, and love what you wear.

Love is the essence of marriage. It knows no boundaries and it is inclusive of all. To me, a wedding is the celebration of LOVE.

The Supreme Court’s decision last June to make same-sex marriage a right nationwide was a BIG win for the LGBT community and a BIG win for LOVE. I happened to be in LA working on a photo shoot when the announcement was made. That night we all went out to celebrate in West Hollywood – it was a big street party that lasted till the morning.

I was so excited for all my friends who finally had their right to spend the rest of their lives with the person they love.

I grew up in Washington, DC, and this past summer I had the chance take my parents to the "Say I Do!” LGBT Wedding Expo in Washington, DC. It was a such pleasure! I love going to bridal expos because it feels like a big wedding celebration. There is music, food, drinks, and always a beautiful display. It is really fun!


Photos by: CYork Photography

It was my first LGBT couples wedding event and I was so happy to be there. I loved to see that big companies, like Bloomingdales Bridal Salon, were there in support of LGBT, but my favorite new vendor was a wedding jewelry company from NYC. The line is called Rony Tennenbaum, named after the designer, and I absolutely fell in love with their esthetics and the whole feel of their company. It is modern and classic, and to make it even better, their work is 100% made in USA.

As a bridal designer I want to support, share the experience, and promote equality between local businesses and the LGBT community. What excites me is the possibility of creating custom wedding pieces that reflect each couple’s personality and individuality and celebrate their love!

NK Bride at Manus X Machina... The Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of the best things about living in New York is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has been an incredible source of inspiration and information for me since I first moved here. Every year they have a special fashion exhibit starting with the opening ceremony known as the MET Gala. I am always amazed by the spectacular presentations. 

 This year the exhibit is called Manus X Machina. It explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. With more than 170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present, the exhibition addresses the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production. It explores this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.”

Opening Piece- Karl Lagerfeld for House of Chanel -- Wedding Ensemble -- Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Haute Couture

I tried to pick only my favorites to share with you but it has been hard to choose just a few… From Karl Lagerfeld to original Coco Chanels, Valentino, Givenchy,  to one of my favorite dresses of all times- the Dior scalloped evening dress circa fall/winter 1949–1950.

“This extraordinary ball gown by Christian Dior, of gray silk tulle, arrayed with an overlay of scallop-shaped petals The bodice and shell forms of its skirt are embellished with nacreous paillettes and sequins, iridescent seed beads, aurora-borealis crystals, and pearls. Dior is best known for his revival of the wasp-waisted silhouette seen here. His celebrated first collection of 1947 was dubbed the "New Look" by the influential American editor Carmel Snow, because the corseted, full-bosomed, and hourglass shaping had not been seen for decades. In fact, the "New Look" was an old look revived. After the deprivations of World War II, Dior believed that the survival of the haute couture relied on its ability to restore fantasy and luxury to women's wardrobes. The fragile effects of this gown, which merges Second Empire romanticism with the classical iconography of ideal and eternal beauty, recall Dior's belief that "fashion comes from a dream."

NK Bride Manus X MachinaIMG_20160709_181832.jpg

House of Givenchy

3-D Printed Designs by Treeasfour andIrene Van Herpen

The Process: Coming Up With The Design

When creating a custom bridal dress, you have the opportunity to make anything you want – anything you can imagine. I know this is kind of self-explanatory, but when planning a wedding we often think about finding the perfect dress first, and then the rest of the wedding theme is dictated by its design. But what we often don't think of is that when you make a custom bridal gown it can be created to match your vision. The place of your wedding or the flowers you are going to have or any other details can be used as the inspiration for the dress.

I would like to share the story of one of my favorite dresses because it illustrates this part of the process so well. When I met Angela about five years ago, all she knew was that she wanted a gown. So I sat down with her and we went through a few of her favorite outfits so I could get to know her style. She also shared that she was planning to get married in the garden of the Science Museum in Richmond, VA. She related to me that when you walk through the grounds you are surrounded by butterflies.

I thought that was going to be such a magical setting for a summer wedding. I knew that it would have to play a part in my design. Angela also shared with me that the signature color she had picked for her wedding was the iconic Tiffany blue. At the end of our meeting Angela said she loved the clothes she had seen on my website and my style and gave me complete freedom to come up with anything I could imagine.

I knew I had incorporate both the garden and the fact that she was using Tiffany Blue. I wanted to create something that brought both of these ideas together…

When I presented my sketches a few weeks later, I told her to imagine the following:

The small Tiffany boxes walking down the aisle first. Cute little bridesmaids’ dresses made out Tiffany blue taffeta and wrapped-up and finished with the iconic white satin bow. One by one they would come down. And then, after you opened the box, the crown jewel comes – Angela sparkling in her beautiful wedding gown. The butterfly design flapping its wings as she moves forward. Sheer silk organza topped with tiny but immensely shiny small Swarovski hand-sewn crystals wrapped around her body over a very fluid, almost liquid silk satin…

 Later on Angela changed her wedding venue to Glen Garden, VA but nonetheless the inspiration for the dress was still the same....

The Re-Cut

Creating a custom wedding dress doesn’t always mean you have to start from scratch. When Liz came in for her first consultation she had already purchased a lovely gown. It was beautiful cotton lace overlaying a tan (nude) lining. It was stunning but it didn't fit her at all. The proportions were so far from her body that the lace design over the bust sat almost at her waistline, making her look “saggy,” for lack of a better word. It was not flattering, to say the least. I’ve altered many wedding dresses in the past but I knew this one was going to need more than alterations.

As we examined everything more closely we came to the conclusion that we would basically need to take the whole dress apart and start over. I had to re-cut the entire bodice, neckline, and sleeves, creating a whole new top, as well as reshape the skirt to fit with it. Working on lace has many challenges, as it is so fine and delicate that it can only be sewn once on a machine. Everything has to first be hand-basted for a final fitting. In the process a beautiful new design came to life, where the lace shaped her body and giving her a true waistline.

After we were done, I asked Liz if she wanted me to sew the original tag back on the dress. She replied, “Honestly, YOU are the one that made my dress, so no…” That was one of the sweetest and most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had in making a gown. Moments like that are the reason why I love doing this so much…

Liz and Simon got married last summer at the “Burlap and Beams” in the Adirondacks. Their pictures are so magnificent and special – I just had to share them with you. I also wanted to post the story behind this particular dress because it is different than the dresses I have made in the past.

NK Bride at Toasted Brooklyn

Recently, I had the honor to participate in a wonderful wedding event called “Toasted,” which is held at the historical event space – the Warsaw – here in Brooklyn. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon filled with joy and excitement.

I had a wonderful time preparing my booth, particularly since one of my brides – Hannah – was so nice and allowed me to showcase her dress. As fate would have it, the table I was assigned was right in front of a big wall mirror, which made the dress look especially magnificent!

The variety of vendors made the atmosphere so much fun for everyone present – it was incredible. In addition to cocktails, there were many local catering and cake companies offering tastings of their delicious creations to the sounds of the DJ. A hair stylist team was braiding hair on the spot; a make-up company was giving make-overs; and there was a super amusing Kodak photo booth where couples could pose with different artifacts and get instant Polaroids to take home as a souvenirs.

I was really inspired as I met so many brides and their fiancés. I really enjoyed talking to everyone and I strongly recommend this event for any couple in the future.

Here are some photos…

NK Bride at Swarovski

This season I had the pleasure to be invited to the Swarovski New York showroom for a presentation of their new Spring 2017 collection. The New York team of Swarovski works with select designers directly, introducing them the new shapes, colors and innovations, and I was fortunate to become one of them. It was a fascinating, informative and very inspirational experience for me as a bridal designer. I love working with embroidered crystals and other beaded textures and I have done it in on many on my designs!


Among many things, I was really taken by one of their inspiration stories called “AIR “,  as I believe it translates to bridal very well.“A breath of air, central to our very existence, remains a potent symbol of calm for all those wishing to retreat from the pressure of daily life."

One of their last innovations which, stood out for me, was their Crystal Fabric. It is just what it sounded – fabric made of crystals. As such, it can be used for a small section on a garment or applied all over. It comes as a sheet of crystals that can be cut into any shape and then heat-transferred on any material.

I also fell in love with the Kaputt crystal collection, which was the result of astonishing teamwork by one of my favorite designers and a source of inspiration, Jean Paul Gaultier and the Swarovski team. Their story began when Jean Paul Gaultier was struck by the perfection of Swarovski’s crystal assortment, and felt that the only way to add his touch and make something new, was to introduce an element of imperfection. His solution was designing a crystal cut which consisted of six variants that riff on irregular forms of pendants- square shapes and round stones in rich, shimmering metallic colors  a striking technological innovation that is simultaneously perfect and imperfect. Playing on the theme of “perfect imperfection”, it was aptly named “Kaputt”(German for “broken”). I absolutely love this concept and the shapes!


Another favorite of mine was the Crystal Leatherette-it. It is faux-leather that could be custom designed to have a crystal motif embossed on it. It really gave me some cool ideas for making a leather jacket that could be worn over a wedding gown.


Being able to work with the Swarovski’s team directly has opened a world of possibilities and ideas for me, and I couldn’t wait to share this with you. I hope it was as inspiring and exciting for you as it has been for me. I would love to hear about your ideas and inspiration... 


Hannah & Baruch: a Brooklyn fairy tale

When Hannah came to me she had been shopping for a while and she had tried on so many dresses.  None of them fit her properly. She was lost. She hadn’t seen anything that came even close to what she imagined. She wanted a dress that was elegant, yet made a bold statement: something very classic with a little edge. She wanted a true evening gown that would be graceful, stylish, and glamorous.

I was truly inspired by her personality and accepted the challenge. After our first meeting we knew we wanted to create a corseted- top with a low back and cap sleeves and an over-the-top, very extravagant flared skirt with some kind of crystals, feathers, or beading texture to really make a statement. Our visions came together after a trip to the garment district where we found the perfect crystal appliqué for the back of the dress: -- an element that looked like birds flying away. The fabric inspired both of us. After that the rest of design came together seamlessly.

When I created the first drape the design somehow felt too heavy, -- too many things were going on. It was beautiful but somehow it wasn’t yet perfect. Hannah had mentioned that she wanted to be comfortable and dance the night away. I thought we could make the dress with a hi-low hemline. When I saw the smile on her face I knew it had worked… it made the dress lift up in the air and flow.  It was magical. The crystals on the back sparkled as she moved.

This dress was probably the most challenging one for me so far. I had never taken on a shape so big and so heavy to make. The silhouette required the bodice to have metal boning and the skirt to be made of five layers of silk, heavy tulle, and organza, as well as a petticoat, in order to sustain the weight of the crystals. Many hours of embroidery and what had seemed like a thousand yards of ruched tulle later the final product was ready. After the wedding Hannah told me she felt like a princess.